An exceptionally densely fruited nose that is intensely floral and nuanced with stone, spice and soft earth hints complements to perfection the impressively concentrated medium weight plus flavors that brim with dry extract such that the very firm tannins are rendered almost invisible at present though I suspect that they will become more visible as the baby fat recedes. This broad-scaled effort should age for up to a decade and last several more. Magnificent.The estate wines of Rhys Vineyards are made from biodynamically farmed fruit and owner Kevin Harvey and winemaker Jeff Brinkman continue to drive the wines to new heights...Harvey has chosen his vineyard sites with a keen eye and then obsessively developed them with the one goal of obtaining fruit that expresses unerringly the uniqueness of site. Simply put, these are terroir-driven wines par excellence. *Outstanding*
The 2008 Horseshoe Ranch pinot noir from Rhys Vineyards is a great bottle of pinot in the making, with its 12.8 percent alcohol level providing perfectly ripe and vibrant fruit that is just a perfect foil to the purity of the soil expression here. I was very happy to revisit this beautiful bottle in the making during my January visit and found the wine cruising along just beautifully. The nose is a deep and complex blend of dark berries, dark chocolate, gentle notes of game, coffee bean, superb soil tones and a deft framing of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, complex and beautifully structured, with a great core of fruit, laser-like focus, ripe tannins and a very, very long, tangy and nascently complex finish. Simply superb juice.
From a large 17-acre vineyard, the stunning 2008 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Ranch Vineyard (450 cases) should turn out to be one of the top wines in this portfolio. Raspberry, blueberry, ripe cherry, allspice, herb, and spring flower aromas jump from the glass of this broad, deep, dark ruby/purple-tinged Pinot. Medium to full-bodied with zesty acidity, it does not reveal any stemmy/vegetal elements despite the fact that 100% whole clusters were used during the fermentation. With good acidity, a broad flavor profile, and firm tannins, it will benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring, and should keep for two decades thereafter. (RP)
Glass-staining ruby. Assertive, smoky aromas of musky cherry, Indian spices, cocoa powder, rose and licorice, plus a whiff of cured meat. Compellingly velvety and sweet on entry, then brilliantly vibrant and mineral-driven in the mid-palate, with an explosive floral pastille quality lifting the flavors of crushed dark berries and baking spices. The wine's pungent minerality lingers on the long, gently chewy finish. This plays Richebourg to the Swan Terrace's Romanee Saint-Vivant. The crop here was 0.7 tons per acre in 2008. (ST)
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